Going Native with Fiddlehead Creek

By Louise Polli

Will this be the year you decide to go native? Maybe you’ve brought the fam­i­ly to Landis’s Native Plant Trail, smart­phones in hand, to mine cura­tor Ed Miller’s vast store of knowl­edge through the QR codes on our inter­pre­ta­tive signs. Per­haps you’ve gone with Ed dur­ing a Lan­dis plant sale for a mem­o­rable and infor­ma­tive tour of the trail. If so, you might now be ready to add natives to your own landscape.

Chris and Emi­ly DeBolt, pro­pri­etors of Fid­dle­head Creek Nurs­ery in Wash­ing­ton Coun­ty, man­age 17 beau­ti­ful acres devot­ed to plants native to New York State. Both are com­mit­ted to spread­ing their mes­sage about the ben­e­fits of land­scap­ing with native plants and the dan­gers of inva­sive species to home­own­ers, orga­ni­za­tions, and com­mu­ni­ties. Their nurs­ery spe­cial­izes in plants for sus­tain­able land­scapes and for pro­tect­ing the qual­i­ty of local waters with rain gar­dens and shore­line buffers. They also sup­ply natives for bird, but­ter­fly, and pol­li­na­tor gar­dens; ferns and spring ephemer­als; and much more. 

Fid­dle­head Creek has been des­ig­nat­ed as a cer­ti­fied wildlife habi­tat through the Nation­al Wildlife Fed­er­a­tion and a monarch but­ter­fly way sta­tion cer­ti­fied by Monarch Watch. It is also part of the Mil­lion Pol­li­na­tor Gar­dens ini­tia­tive. The DeBolts’ pro­fes­sion­al net­work also includes part­ner­ships with such con­ser­va­tion and edu­ca­tion­al orga­ni­za­tions as the North Amer­i­can Native Plant Soci­ety, the Lady Bird John­son Wild­flower Cen­ter, and the New York Flo­ra Asso­ci­a­tion. Chris and Emi­ly are Cer­ti­fied Nurs­ery Land­scape Pro­fes­sion­als (CNLP) and serve as direc­tors for Region 3 of the New York State Nurs­ery and Land­scape Asso­ci­a­tion. Their ser­vices include native plant con­sul­ta­tion and gar­den design, as well as edu­ca­tion­al pre­sen­ta­tions for gar­den clubs and oth­er organizations.

You may recall the DeBolts’ plants and sig­nage at a Lan­dis plant sale. As an expe­ri­enced envi­ron­men­tal edu­ca­tor, Emi­ly knows the val­ue of both text and pho­to­graph­ic images when intro­duc­ing new plants and hor­ti­cul­tur­al con­cepts to gar­den­ers. There’s a native for every­thing,” she says. Their web­site, www​.fid​dle​head​creek​.com, which includes native alter­na­tives to inva­sives and oth­er unde­sir­ables, helps you plan addi­tions to an exist­ing gar­den or cre­ate a new space, such as a rain gar­den. [Check out Emily’s arti­cle about rain gar­dens in this newsletter.]

Why go native? Aside from the nat­ur­al beau­ty of the native plants, the envi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits are plen­ti­ful: they sup­ply both food and habi­tat for wildlife; are read­i­ly adapt­able to local con­di­tions; use less fer­til­iz­er and pes­ti­cides; are low­er main­te­nance; devel­op deep root sys­tems that absorb and fil­ter storm water runoff; and help stop the spread of inva­sive plants. What bet­ter way to expand your family’s oasis and help ensure local biodiversity?

We look for­ward to the return of Fid­dle­head Creek at the Arboretum’s Fall Plant Sale. Though their nurs­ery is grow­ing, they remain a small, fam­i­ly-owned busi­ness where Emi­ly, Chris, young son Carter, and even Grand­ma Beryl share space at the pot­ting table to ensure that Fid­dle­head Creek is ready to help you go native”. 

Vis­it the Fid­dle­head Creek web­site at www​.fid​dle​head​creek​.com for more infor­ma­tion about the nursery.

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Summer 2015

Volume 33 , Number 3

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